Money is pouring in from out of state to fund opposition to ColoradoCare. Outspending supporters 8 to 1, opponents of Amendment 69 want to protect their exorbitant profits at the expense of your wallets and your health.

As a rural family physician, I struggle every day to get basic health care for my patients. The current system is unsustainable and getting worse. Recently, I had yet another asthmatic who couldn’t afford her maintenance medications. She ended up on a ventilator and was discharged needing oxygen at home. Her insurance refused to pay for it. She is one of thousands of under-insured people in the state.

I see this petty system from both sides of the coin. After having a cancer treatment, which I need on a regular basis, my insurance would not process it because the provider had not done a “prior authorization” (which is insurance gobbledygook to avoid paying anything). Despite paying hundreds of dollars a month for an “insurance” plan with a huge deductible, coinsurance and copays, I couldn’t even count my out-of-pocket expenses towards the deductible because of a paperwork mistake. This absurd game would go away with ColoradoCare. I would pay my tax and have a platinum (not bronze) plan WITHOUT deductibles and coinsurance. My rates would not skyrocket every year along with increases in my out-of-pocket expenses.

Instead of health care rates being determined in a closed boardroom where you and I and our providers have NO input, the board running ColoradoCare would not be able to increase the tax unless approved by the members of ColoradoCare, the members being all Coloradans. If we weren’t happy with how they were running things, we could boot them out at the next election. Under the current system, we can’t change the insurance company executives who pay themselves millions by charging ever-increasing premiums and denying care to customers.

A study by the Institute of Health found that only 8 percent of health expenditures go to those who provide care, whereas 30 percent of health expenditures are wasted. That waste includes the administrative obstacles that the insurance companies put up to avoid paying for your care.

As 56 countries of the world have figured out, universal health care is a social necessity, just like public education and libraries. In those countries with universal coverage, health care is provided at a fraction of the cost as in the U.S., and their citizens are healthier than we are. This is not a partisan issue but a fact of life. All people, regardless of their political persuasion, live in human bodies that get sick and injured.

Don’t let outside interests determine how we care for Coloradans. They do NOT have your interests at heart but only care about their bottom line. Vote for your family’s and your health and well-being. Vote for ColoradoCare, Amendment 69.

Colorado native Madeline Jacobs, MD, has been a family practitioner in Penrose, Colo., since 1988. She got her medical degree at the University of Colorado Medical School in 1984 and completed her residency in 1987 in Fort Collins.

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